A Tribute to Ground Pounders

A Professional Legacy

For 35 years, from 1831 to 1866, the U.S. Government Land Office contracted 117 Deputy Surveyors to survey the public lands of Wisconsin into approximately 1600 full or partial townships containing over 56,000 full or partial sections.

Such vast original survey task involved the measurement of about 125,000 miles of sectional line, placement of nearly a quarter million corner monuments and the marking of over a half million bearing trees or other corner references.

Thru wilderness prairies, wetlands and forests primarily void of roadways or bridges and convenient settlements, a normal crew of six toiled in the outdoor elements at an average total contract rate of $2 per mile for the entire crew.

Most townships were subdivided into 36 sections within 15 days, or about 4 miles of line per day; including setting of 85 section and 1/4 corner posts, required meander or witness corner posts, and the average marking of 250 bearing trees.

A genuine appreciation and respect of such early legacy by our predecessors, is perhaps best attested by the Wisconsin Supreme Court case opinion in 19 Wis 480:

"The original monuments, when ascertained, afford the most satisfactory and we may say conclusive evidence of the lines originally run, which are the true boundaries of the land tract surveyed, whether they correspond with the plat and field notes of the survey or not; and all agreed that courses, distances and quantities must always yield to the survey monuments and marks erected and adopted by the original surveyor, as indicating the lines run by him."

AS A PROFESSIONAL WISCONSIN LAND SURVEYOR LET US NEVER FAIL TO PERPETUATE SUCH LEGACY

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